Mechanical Sweeper Rides to Rescue of Kansas Town

Sept. 6, 2016

Located in northwest Kansas, the city of Oakley is known as the birthplace of the legend of Buffalo Bill. It was here in 1868 that famous bison hunter and showman William F. Cody earned his nickname in a hunting contest with William Comstock, a scout for Gen. George Armstrong Custer.

With a population of approximately 2,000, this small town on the high plains faced a big problem with its primary street sweeper, which spent more time in the shop for repairs than it did on the job. With so much downtime, many of the city’s streets had accumulated several years’ worth of debris.

The city approved the purchase of a new street sweeper and worked with Butch Burris, director of Oakley’s street department, to put out a competitive bid. As part of the process, Burris ordered demonstration sweepers from multiple vendors. After a thorough bid process, the Pelican three-wheel mechanical sweeper from Elgin Sweeper was selected to support the city’s street maintenance program.

The local Elgin Sweeper dealer in Wichita, Kan., Key Equipment & Supply Co., delivered the sweeper to Burris and his crew in Oakley and put it into service. 

According to Tom Wyant, territory manager for Key Equipment, the choice was simple. “Our customers at the city of Oakley were in sore need of a dependable, all-around sweeper with solid digging power, and the Pelican was the perfect solution,” he said.

Elgin Sweeper’s flagship product, the sweeper is based on one of the company’s original street sweeper designs, which has been continuously improved since 1914. It combines maneuverability, economy, serviceability and single-lane dumping with a sweep system that easily handles heavy, compacted dirt and bulky debris, as well as smaller particles. The environmentally friendly sweeper is designed with EcoInfused technology, which combines horsepower management with efficiency.

In 220 hours of operation during the city’s 2013 sweeping season, the sweeper removed more than 700 tons of roadside debris from Oakley’s streets—debris
that otherwise would have entered the city’s storm sewer system, causing water pollution and an increased risk of flooding.

“The Pelican has operated like a workhorse for Oakley, without a single major service issue,” Wyant said. “We attribute that durability to the EcoInfused on-demand hydraulics built into the machine. In heavy sweeping applications—such as those performed in Oakley—power is sent to the sweeper component that needs it the most, all while saving fuel, reducing emissions and drastically improving productivity and downtime.”